• James Rutherford

'The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete': A Poignant Depiction of Resilience and Determination


Movie poster for the film The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete

"The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete" (2013) is an incredibly poignant and heartfelt story about two inner city boys forced to survive on their own in the housing projects of Brooklyn, New York. Playing out over the course of one sweltering summer in the city, the storyline follows 13-year-old Mister (Skylan Brooks) and 9-year-old Pete (Ethan Dizon) as they subsist unsupervised, biding their time until they can be reunited with their mothers.


Barely acquainted with one another, Mister and Pete quickly become allies after both of their mothers are arrested by the police—Mister's mother (Jennifer Hudson) for drug possession and Pete's mother (Martha Millan) for prostitution. Eluding the police themselves while repeatedly dodging Child Services officers, the pair holes up in Mister's apartment while intermittently venturing out to forage for food. Populated with lively characters including Anthony Mackie as a local drug dealer and Jeffrey Wright as an charismatic homeless man, the plot-line ultimately centers on Mister's preparation for a television casting call that he hopes will bring deliverance to them both.


Written by Michael Starrbury and directed by George Tillman Jr. (Soul Food, The Hate U Give), "The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete" is a gritty yet warm-hearted depiction of human resilience. Young Brooks and Dizon shine brightest as a mismatched duo whose burgeoning camaraderie lays at the the heart of story's progression. Highly conscientious and strikingly empathetic, it's a remarkably touching viewing experience—rife with moments of difficulty, calamity, fortitude and uplifting transcendence.

 

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